Children benefit when general education and special education teachers collaborate. What is collaboration? General Education and Special Education teachers have differing perspectives based on training. The challenge in the classroom today is to build the bridge that joins the best of both fields to the benefit of all students! Three teachers at Begich have undertaken a study of baseline collaboration at Begich Middle School, as their alternative evaluation project this school year. Check back at the end of April for survey results, current activity in the collaboration arena, and goals for next year!
Update: (4/23/09) A team collaboration folder has been added to the Staff Shared area of the Begich Dock. In this folder are items copied from the ASD Middle Link Site for team collboration. There are also items related to Special Education Case Manager Collaboration duties, and examples of accomodations and modifications that Special Education Teachers may use for IEP goals. There are examples of consultation and the seven different types of co-teaching that General Education and Speical Education Teachers may use when collaborating to increase student performance and meet individual needs. The raw data from the survey will be uploaded to the folder. There were many helpful comments.
Summary of Staff Survey Learnings:
Teams need to schedule both time and goals for team collaboration and special education/general education to happen. Most teams are not setting agendas and this has caused frustration. Team collaboration is separate and unique from the general education/special education collaboration that must happen for implementation of IEP goals as part of the IDEA inclusion legislation. Special Education Teachers should post schedules and be accountable to their teams for following that schedule. If changes are to occur, inform your team!!! TELL YOUR TEAM IN WHAT AREAS YOU ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED!
Time is the biggest roadblock. We exist in one of the "smartest" buildings in the district, as far as technology. Technology should be harnessed to make the most of time and efficiency. Most teams are using email to supplement face-to-face meetings. Teams should set a communication goal, technology goals, collaboration goals, and time for team evaluation. The Middle Link resources are very helpful to this end.
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER CASE MANAGEMENT JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
The following was excerpted from the Anchorage School District website under the Special Education:
What Every Anchorage School District Teacher Should Know
Revised, August 2006
2. Basic Concepts
3. Child Find Obligations of District Personnel
4. Responsibilities of General Educators and Special Education
5. FERPA and Confidentiality
6. Keeping Current with Special Education and Section 504
7. How to Get Help
Special education supports and services are provided to students with
disabilities in all schools throughout our district. All staff within ASD schools
should anticipate that he or she may work with students receiving special
education services or accommodations and modifications under Section 504
Plans. A person other than a teacher of a child with a disability (i.e., a
regular classroom teacher or a paraprofessional) may assist in providing
special education to students with disabilities if the instruction is supervised
by a teacher with a special education endorsement.
While questions about particular students issues should be addressed to the
student’s special education team or 504 team members, general questions
about special education and 504 procedures can be addressed by building
level administrators, 504 school level coordinators, special education teacher
consultants and building level staff. Questions about special education policy
or procedure can also be addressed to the email account
LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT (LRE)
IDEA 04 states that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with
disabilities are to be educated with children who are not disabled. This
concept is known as the least restrictive environment (LRE). The IEP must
contain an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not
participate in the general education classroom and curriculum, and
extracurricular, or other nonacademic activities (See Part V of the Handbook
for more information).
Special Education means the specially designed instruction, at no cost to the
parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Specially
designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology, or delivery
of instruction to address the unique needs of the child and to ensure access
of the child to the general education curriculum. Special education is a
service, not a place.
Special Education includes:
1. Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals
and institutions, and in other settings.
2. Instruction in physical education.
3. Speech-language pathology services, or any other related service.
4. Travel training.
5. Vocational education.
In keeping with the criteria set forth previously, the child must be
determined, through the evaluation process, to have a disability and be in
need of special education. When a child meets both these criteria the IEP
Team must identify the specific services that will comprise the special
Responsibilities of General Educators and Special Education
REGULAR EDUCATION INTERVENTIONS
The rationale for systematic regular education intervention is to identify
problems early and prevent them from becoming major problems. Successful
regular education interventions can negate the need for enrolling the child in
a special education program, as well as avoid the stigma and "labeling" often
associated with receiving special education. However, regular education
intervention activities must not be instituted to divert or delay a referral to
One type of regular education intervention support is to informally share
effective interventions with parents and teachers. A second type of regular
education intervention is more formalized and might involve (1) specific
support to parents and/or classroom teachers from school personnel, (2)
documentation of specific interventions tried, and (3) formative
measurement of student progress in areas of difficulty.
The type, duration, and result of regular education interventions should be
well documented. The evaluation data collected and recorded will indicate the
effectiveness of various interventions. If the child is referred for an individual
evaluation, this regular education intervention information will provide
important additional data to determine areas of need and to make
The support for school personnel may come from school psychologists,
special education consulting teachers, principals, district curriculum
consultants, or some combination of available support services. The
interventions may involve curriculum adaptations; social skills training
implemented in the home and/or classroom; cooperative learning activities;
changes in classroom organization; and changes in the teaching techniques,
school placement, or schedule. It is recommended that the school inform the
child's parents of the regular education interventions being implemented.
Welcome to Special Education services at Begich Middle School!